Blandford Commission supports increase in volunteer tax credits
On August 8, 2011, the Commission for Fire Protection for the District of Blandford and District 1 unanimously passed a motion requesting that the Province of Nova Scotia increase the Volunteer Firefighters and Ground Search & Rescue Tax Credit to $ 1000 at the earliest opportunity. The commission noted that all volunteer fire departments are facing challenges with recruitment and retention of volunteers to serve their communities. Volunteer firefighting has become a challenging job with more training requirements to meet changing regulations. And it isn't limited to fires which in themselves have become more complicated and often feature hazardous materials. Communities like ours depend on our volunteer firefighters as medical first responders for medical emergencies and accidents. An EMS ambulance with paramedics has to come from Hubbards or Chester so our volunteers are always first on the scene in those critical first few minutes of an emergency.
The commission believes the tax credit increase is a prudent and appropriate way for the province to recognize the work of the approximately 7000 volunteer firefighters in Nova Scotia. It may also be an added incentive for the recruitment of new volunteers. In the Motion, the commission asks fire agencies and provincial politicians to support and promote this increase in the tax credit for our volunteer firefighters.
New Honda Outboards for Chester Rescue BoatThe Chester Volunteer Fire Department received a new pair of 135 hp Honda outboard motors for the Boston Whaler Fire and Rescue Boat. This significant donation is from Carroll Bridgewater Honda Powerhouse and some anonymous Chester residents.
Structure fire at Martins River
Firefighters from Mahone Bay, Martins River and Western Shore were called to a house fire at 185 East Side Martins River Road on the late afternoon of June 16, 2011. Lunenburg and Chester Basin Departments were on standby. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
For a video clip please go to the South Shore News
Safe Grad at Forest Heights Community School
On the morning of June 9, 2011 the Chester Basin Volunteer Fire Department organized a mock emergency response to a motor vehicle accident as part of the Safe Grad events at the Forest Height Community School. Over 100 Grade 12 students participated and had the opportunity of observing our firefighters triage the victims, stabilize the vehicle and then extricate the four victims that had been trapped in the vehicle. Hydraulic cutters and spreaders were used to cut the vehicle's posts and pull back the roof. The RCMP discussed the criminality and penalties of impaired driving and " arrested " the driver on scene. Important safety messages were discussed with the students. Members from the Chester, New Ross and Western Shore Volunteer Fire Department assisted in this important safety event. Brochures from the MADD organization were provided for the students.
Junior Firefighters Training Weekend
On May 14 and 15, 2011, for the third consecutive year, our junior firefighters from across the county participated in an extensive training program. The week end was a great success!
There were 55 junior firefighters from 12 different departments including: Hubbards, Chester, Martins River, Bridgewater, Lunenburg, Dayspring, Oakhill, Hebbs Cross, Italy Cross, Baker Settlement, Midville Branch and Western Shore.
The youth participated in Vehicle Extrication, BA/TIC training, Medical, Ropes, Knots, Ladders, Porta Tanks, Firestreams, Fire Extinguishers, Pumps, and had a demonstration from DNR. Each junior was presented with a certificate and tee shirt at the end of the weekend.
Many thanks to all the department volunteers that not only helped instructing the juniors but also kept things going behind the scene, in the kitchen, cleaning up, organizing and keeping all the kids engaged and accounted for.
Two senior members from Aylsford Fire Dept visited the training are are interested in participating in next year's event.
The Juniors are the future of our fire service. We hope to see even more participants next year.
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